10 Healthy Summer Snacks for Kids

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If you think all kids are looking to devour only junk food, think again! A National Mango Board snacking study, conducted in September 2015, surveyed 501 U.S. parents with children between the ages of 3 and 11, using Research Now’s online consumer panel; the results showed that 41 percent of children ask for fresh fruit more frequently than other snacks. So the next time your little one requests a snack, choose one of these healthy options.

Snack Versus Treat

Snacks are mini meals that should be provided if there is a long stretch of time between meals (about five hours). Snacks are a perfect opportunity for your child to take in the nutrients they need to help them grow and develop, including iron, protein, calcium and vitamin D. Treats, on the other hand, are non-nutritious foods — such as cookies and chips — that do not provide nutrients and should be consumed only once in a while.

10 Healthy Snack Options

Here are delicious and nutritious snacks to offer your kids during the hot weather (click through for the recipes).

Yogurt and Fruit Parfaits

Your kids can help assemble these scrumptious parfaits. It’s a fabulous way to get tiny hands in the kitchen.

chocolate-covered-banana-pops

Chocolate-Covered Banana Pops

Make a batch to store in the freezer. Banana pops are the perfect snack to serve when kids come home exhausted from camp.

Chocolate-Dipped Fruit

It’s OK to have a little chocolate with your fruit — a little goes a long way.

Mini Date-Nut Snowballs

These bite-sized goodies are made with lots of nutritious ingredients: dates, coconut flakes and almonds.

Flowery Fun Fruit Skewers

Snack time should be fun, too, and these flowery skewers get the job done!

Cherry-Peach Twin Pops

Keep your child hydrated during the hot weather with these fruit pops made with fruit nectar.

Frozen Fruit Smoothies

Smoothies are a tasty way to consume two food groups: fruit and dairy. Both contain nutrients your child needs for proper growth and development.

Flavored Milks

Add an array of fruit flavors to your kid’s next glass of milk.

Holy Moly Guacamole

Studies have shown that dipping is a favorite way kids take in their vegetables. Carrots, celery and bell peppers are perfect to dip in guac.

English-Muffin Breakfast Pizza

For a more savory option, make a quick pizza in your toaster oven. In this recipe, half a portion is reasonable for a snack.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.